Prince Harry has been appointed a Commonwealth youth ambassador, his highest-profile public role to date and a job that will see him working with his future wife encouraging young people to use the network of mostly former British colonies.
Queen Elizabeth awarded the position to her 33-year-old grandson who is fifth-in-line to the throne and has led a rebranding of the monarchy in a bid to make it more modern and relevant.
“I know that serving as ambassador to young people I’m going have to try to keep up with you all … my job will be to listen to you, my duty will be to ensure that your ideas, concerns, thoughts, and hopes are heard,” Harry told the opening of a Commonwealth forum discussing youth issues.
Harry will marry American actress Meghan Markle on May 19.
In a statement, Buckingham Palace said more than 60 percent of the Commonwealth’s 2.4 billion people were under the age of 30.
The Queen is the head of the Commonwealth, but questions have been raised over whether her son and heir, Prince Charles, should succeed her.
“The Queen clearly is personally very committed to the Commonwealth but after her, maybe it’s a time to say ‘well actually the Commonwealth should decide who its own president is on a rotational basis’,” Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party said.
Foreign minister Boris Johnson said it was “a matter for the 53 to decide”.
“She said that whether her life be long or short, it would be dedicated to the service of the people of the Commonwealth. All of us here today can be grateful that it is a long life the Queen is still enjoying,” he said.
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